Revelation 16

There shall, in the great Tribulation period, be poured out such manifestations of the wrath of God against Satan and sinners as man has never conceived. The terrors of those days will surpass anything known in the earth before those days, and shall never be known thereafter. Woe to those who choose, by their rejection of Christ in the Gospel day, to be left to that time.

1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Revelation 16:1-9 – ​Recompense for the Blood of Saints

   It makes us pause to hear that angels, who rejoice over one sinner that repenteth, are employed in these terrible judgments. It is very startling to hear their outspoken acquiescence in the plagues that vitiate the earth, sea, springs, and sun. The angel of the waters insists that God has judged righteously, and the altar, beneath which are the souls of the martyrs, assents.
   Our softer age shrinks from such conceptions of the divine judgments, but it is likely that our standards are weakened and warped by our daily contact with what is earthly and human. God’s love is not soft and emasculated, but strong, vigorous, and righteous. Only when we reach the land of light and glory, shall we understand the true horror of sin and the inveteracy of human apostasy. Then we also shall be able to take up those solemn words of endorsement in Revelation 16:7, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 16:10-21 – ​“The Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty”

   All these judgments apparently refer to the destruction of those great systems of falsehood and apostasy which set themselves against the truth and purity of God. The dragon, beast, and false prophet are the devil’s mimicry of the divine Trinity. The dragon corresponds to God the Father in delegating His authority; the beast, like our Lord, is crowned with diadems, Revelation 13:1; 19:12; the false prophet directs attention to the beast, as does the Holy Spirit to Christ.
   The mystery of iniquity will make one last effort to obtain the empire of the world, seeking to effect its purpose through a human confederacy. When that confederacy has reached its climax of effrontery, the coming of the Son of God is near; hence the need for watchfulness and purity, Revelation 16:15. Armageddon is the mountain of Megiddo, in the plain of Esdraelon. See Joel 3:2, 12, 14; also Zechariah 12:11. The great city symbolizes the apostate Church, or professing Christendom. The true Bride is away from these judgments, awaiting the manifestation of her Lord. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 16:15—Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth.

​   The Second Advent will come on men generally suddenly and unexpectedly. When they say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction shall overtake them, as travail a woman with child, and they shall not escape. With the rapidity of the lightning flash; with the suddenness of a flood or avalanche; with the surprise of the midnight robber—Christ will come. When men are asleep, when every bolt and fastening refuses admittance, when the streets are still and hushed, behold the Judge will stand before the door.
   As Lightfoot, quoted by Dr. Macduff, suggests, the allusion may be to a Jewish custom in the service of the temple. Twenty-four wards or companies were appointed night by night to guard the various entrances to the sacred courts. One individual was appointed as captain or marshal over the others, called the “Man of the Mountain of the House of God.” His duty was to go round the various gates during the night to see that his subordinates were faithful to their charge. Preceded as he was by men bearing torches, it was expected that each wakeful sentinel should hail his appearance with the password, “Thou Man of the Mountains of the House, peace be unto thee!” If through unwatchfulness and slumber this were neglected, the offender was beaten with the staff of office, his garments were burnt, and he was branded with shame.
   It was in contrast with these slumbering Levites that Jesus pronounces a blessing on his own people who watch and keep their garments, and are saved from the reproach of spiritual nakedness. Let us, therefore, wait for the promise of his coming, looking for and basting unto the coming of the day of God. —Our Daily Homily